Serenity’s Kindness Kookies

I don’t think there are many people who have not been moved by the devastation of the typhoon in the Philippines, but one little girl in Kanata was inspired to take action.  This is the story of Serenity’s Kindness Kookies.

One Sunday morning before church, while dining in a restaurant with her parents, Serenity caught sight of news footage out of the Philippines.  She was full of questions and wanted to know why the people were so sad and what was happening.  Her parents explained that there had been a big storm and many people had lost their homes and needed help.

When they returned home from church, Sera ran up to her room where her mother found her packing up her toys and books.  When her mother asked her what she was doing, she said that she wanted to send them to the children she had seen on TV.  She had determined that since they lost their houses, they would not have toys to play with and she would be happy to share hers.  Deeply touched, Sera’s mom, Samantha, then explained that while this was such a kind gesture, there was no way to get the items to the children and what they really needed was money to buy food and build houses.  It was then decided that when payday came around, money would be sent to the Red Cross to help the people in the Philippines.   Seemingly satisfied with this, Sera settled down for a nap.

Later that day, Sera went running to her mom with both fists full of pennies from her piggy bank and asked that it be sent to buy them new houses.  She figured she had enough in those little hands of hers to buy some.  Mom explained that while that was very generous, and the money would be sent, that it takes a LOT of money to build houses.  It was then that Sera decided that she should bake cookies to send to make them feel better.  Again, the logistics of sending cookies were lost on her and so mom agreed that cookies would be baked but they would sell them and send the proceeds.  Serenity insisted that treats from her trick-or-treat bag be used and so a big batch of Smartie cookies were made.

A post on mom’s Facebook page explained to friends and daycare clients that cookies would be sold with donations going to the Red Cross. Sera set up a little table by the front door and decorated it with her play silks. A logo “Serenity’s Kindness Kookies” was created and she set to work wrapping the cookies in plastic wrap and taping on the logos.  (Mom tells me that two rolls of scotch tape were used on that batch!).  Friends and family stopped by that day to visit her cookie store and she eagerly stood behind her table in the front waiting for more “customers”. Former daycare kids brought pocketful’s of change to buy cookies and all of their Smarties from their trick-or-treat bags to contribute and make more cookies. Another 4 batches of cookies later and the next day, Serenity went with her father to work were she raised $200.00 and had requests for more cookies!

The response has been overwhelming.  Friends, colleagues and even some strangers contributed.  In the end she raised $600.00 and her father’s workplace matched donations bringing the total to $1200.00.  With the Government of Canada matching all donations – this sweet girl has raised $2400.00 through her kindness.

“Serenity’s Kindness Kookies” – Kindness Indeed!!


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Gifts of Hope

Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope

Plan Canada is a global movement for change, mobilizing millions of people around the world to support social justice for children in developing countries. They are asking that you consider a gift from their “Gifts of Hope“. A Gift of Hope from Plan Canada can be an excellent way to engage children at a young age. It presents a unique opportunity for them to learn, talk about and support important global issues.

Gifts of Hope support real projects that change lives in developing countries. Clean drinking water keeps families healthy; fruit trees grow into a valuable food and income source, and provide respite from the burning sun; a food basket provides cooking staples like beans and fortified cereal that can help stave off malnutrition. The addition of the Typhoon Haiyan relief gift is especially impactful as it will help get the necessities of food, clean drinking water, medical supplies, and shelter to children and families in the Philippines. Any of these life-changing gifts would be ideal for teachers, coworkers and even party hosts.


 image001 New! Typhoon Haiyan relief: $95
Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the worst storm on record, destroyed entire communities and shattered millions of lives when it struck the Philippines. The storm swept away homes, schools, crops … and lives. But with this gift, you can help children and families recover and rebuild. Plan has worked in the Philippines for more than 50 years and has extensive experience responding to natural disasters and other crises, deploying teams of technical experts to support the immediate delivery of clean drinking water, food, medical supplies, shelter and educational resources.
 image002 New! The Quinoa Project: $35
This superfood is a super gift for almost 15,000 families in developing countries, where poor nutrition and health run rampant. This gift of a family garden includes everything necessary for growing that garden: quinoa seeds and other grain crops; training for growing and harvesting the crops; and the know-how to turn those crops into nutritious meals with cooking classes and recipe books. With this gift, you can help families become healthy and strong for life.Gift-giving idea: If you have a gardening enthusiast in your life, this gift can be wrapped with packages of heirloom seeds for next year’s gardening season.


New! Fruit Tree: $12 each or 10 for $120
When you give this gift, your efforts will bear fruit in many forms. Planted around homes, fruit trees provide shade from the unrelenting sun and give families nutritious food to eat, helping them stay strong and healthy. Help families in more developing countries reap the harvest of this gift.Gift-giving idea: A perfect gift to give with jars of delicious homemade fruit preserves.


New! Girls’ take-home rations: $25
Give the gift of food and the gift of education! Many girls in developing countries are often kept at home and out of school because of existing gender roles and stereotypes. With this gift, each month that a young girl regularly attends school, she will receive essential food items such as cooking oil or grains to take home to her family. Feed families, feed young minds, and be part of changing communities, one educated girl at a time.Gift-giving idea: For a daughter, niece or granddaughter, this gift given along with a contribution to an education fund (RESP) emphasizes the importance of an education.


New! Food Basket: $50
Filled with staples like sugar, peas, beans, and cooking oil, it’s a basic food basket with an impact that is anything but. This gift of food for thousands of pregnant women, mothers and young children under five who are malnourished is ultimately the gift of life, especially in countries like Sierra Leone, where maternal and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world. Along with the food, nutritional training is given as well to help them stay healthy and strong. Basket by basket, you’ll be saving lives.Gift-giving idea: Perfect for home cooks and foodies, give this life-saving gift with a basket of gourmet food items.
 image006 New! School Essentials: $17 for one child, $250 for a class
Fill schools in developing countries with all the essentials to give students the best possible education and the best possible start to a better life. With this gift, you’ll not only be helping provide basics such as textbooks and pencils, you’ll be funding essential school lunch programs and teacher training. This gift will also help children receive education in emergency situations, support programs to reduce school violence and work on improving school hygiene. All of which will help make schools into productive, safe, inspiring spaces where children can get the education they need to make their own choices about the future.Gift-giving idea: A perfect gift for teachers, can be given with a gift certificate from their favourite book store or coffee shop.
 image007  Goat: $75 or $775 for a herd of goats
It just might be the most unique gift you’ll give this year. Goats may make us chuckle with their antics, but the impact they have on a family’s health and income is profound. They provide milk and essential protein for growing children, and the sale of offspring means an income to pay for housing, health, food and schooling. We’re m-a-a-a-d about this gift!Gift-giving idea: A great way to teach children about charity and the developing world, give this gift with a small stuffed goat. Or for an adult, goat’s milk bath products pair well with the spirit of this gift.

This year, give back with Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope, which can easily be purchased over the phone at 1-800-387-1418 or online at  Recipients will receive an electronic or hard copy greeting card letting them know about their personal gift and a tax receipt is issued to the giver.

Typhoon Haiyan

On World Kindness Day ~ Help Those Affected By Typhoon Haiyan

On this, World Kindness Day, there are few who can use our help more than those who have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  Typhoon Haiyan is the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines and has caused the loss of an estimated 10,000 lives. The storm has caused widespread damage, including landslides and flooding. Among the people affected are those who were left homeless by an earthquake in mid-October. You can read more about the impact on the Canadian Red Cross website.

What we are asking of you today, is to open up your hearts and your wallets in order to help the people who are suffering through this incredible tragedy. It has been reported that up to 4 million children are believed to be living in the areas that were hit and you can do your part to help them get through this. Thanks to the Canadian Government and UNICEF supporters, you have the possibility of tripling your donation if you hop over to the UNICEF page to donate now. No one deserves to go through something like this alone and if we can all make a difference by giving just a little bit, it is well worth it. Thank You!

Typhoon Haiyan 2